Discussing the Four Characteristics of a Well Written Report

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Submitted By GGrant18
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– Criminal Investigation
Lesson 4 – Surveillance, Records, and Reporting
9/17/2012

In this paper I will be discussing the four characteristics of a well-written report. As well as what makes them critical to writing a report. The four characteristics are completeness, conciseness, clarity, and accuracy. As stated in the textbook “A report may contain all the necessary information, but if it is poorly written, points may be lost in the prose” (P.189). Simply put, if it doesn’t contain all the key elements your report could otherwise become useless. The first characteristic of a well written report is its completeness. “Completeness means that the report contains all pertinent information” (P.190). Officers have a series of questions they should ask themselves before handing in a report to make sure that it is complete. Reports should contain any and all relevant information so that your report leaves no open questions whether it by a fellow officer or the court. Having all the necessary information in the report will show what actions were taken and it helps to avoid wasted time and effort of having to do it all over again. E-mail addresses have become important in report writing since it is the easiest way to deliver a statement to an officer. “An Added Benefit is that e-mail interviews can be printed out and attached to the supplementary report” (P.190). The importance of the completeness of a written report is crucial due to it needing every detail that was crucial to the investigation. The next characteristic of a well written report is its conciseness. “Reports should be as concise as possible while retaining all essential features and details in an understandable manner” (P.190). This characteristic is as simple as keep it as short, simple, and detailed as much as possible. The longer a written report is the more difficult it may get to follow. “Long,…...

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